Thursday, October 15, 2009

On October 15

On this day in ...
... 1946, hours before his scheduled execution at Nuremberg, Hermann Goering committed suicide in his cell by swallowing a vial of potassium cyanide. The New York Times reported that authorities were puzzled at how the Nazi leader (above, center) obtained the poison, and further that the German populace "chuckled over the trick that he had played on the occupying powers, and once more thought of him as a hero." The next day U.S. Supreme Court Justice who'd served as Chief U.S. Prosecutor, Robert H. Jackson, made a contrary claim: that "through his self-inflicted death by poison instead of dying courageously on the gallows," Goering "dispelled 'the myth of Nazi bravery and stoicism and and deep conviction.'" Six decades later, a man who'd been a 19-year-old prison guard said he'd given Goering the vial, which he unwittingly believed contained "medicine."

(Prior October 15 posts here and here.)

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